Get the look with modern art
By Amy Wright | Apr 15, 2021
There’s something about modern art that transcends fads and fashion, making it enduring, intriguing, and perennially popular.
Maybe it’s the bold colors and the striking graphic quality. Or perhaps it’s the distinctive and charming aesthetics. After all, the mid-century modern art movement is what gave us the wildly differing styles of Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock, artists whose work manages to be both era-defining and timeless.
Whatever the reason, this period of art makes for great home decor because these works tend to be conversation starters and thought sparkers. They also have an undeniable energy that can take an unremarkable room and launch it into “wow” territory.
With all of the options for custom canvas, framed, collage, and triptych prints, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to decorating your home. So let’s consider the ways you can incorporate mid-century modern art (also known as MCM) into your living space.
Art is meant to be part of our lives
Before we even broach the topic of choosing art for your home, it’s important to address the elephant in the room. What are we talking about? The function of art.
For too many people and for too long, art has been relegated to the pristine walls of galleries and museums, as something somehow out of reach of everyday life. And while art is of course meant to be thought-provoking and eye catching, it’s also meant to be lived with.
We encourage you to think of fine art not as something high-brow or unattainable, but as something that becomes part of your home and your daily routines, weaving itself into your thoughts and conversations and rhythms and routines. In short, art is something that intertwines with and enhances your daily life.
Two ways to pull a room together with mid-century modern art
The way we see it, there are really two main routes you can take decor-wise. You can either go large and focused or small and eclectic.
Taking the first route means choosing either one or two statement pieces that are large in size and scale and are meant to be the focus of a space. This approach works best in homes with open-concept layouts, as large artworks tend to benefit from a lot of “breathing space.”
Modern art that makes bold use of color and repeating patterns works particularly well. Imagine a living room wall dedicated to a stunning mural-sized print — a surefire conversation starter.
The latter route entails gathering a greater quantity of pieces that are smaller in size and scale and arranging them together in a thoughtful way. This should highlight the unique qualities of each piece and make an overall visual statement that is more than the sum of its parts.
One common technique involves gathering at least three canvas or framed prints and hanging them in close proximity on a wall so that they all “speak” to each other. This offers a lot of flexibility since the pieces you choose can be tied together in various ways: through a common subject, color palette, artistic medium… the opportunities to play around with this are pretty much endless.
A third way: vignettes
There’s also another way to approach this, and that’s through the use of vignettes. In a nutshell, a vignette is a grouping of items (including art prints, sculptures, household objects, etc.) in a way that creates a point of visual interest and tells a story. For example, you could frame one of your favorite modern art prints in a standing frame to sit on a side table or on top of a credenza, and then surround it with other objects that highlight the specific qualities of the print.
Imagine this for a vignette: a modern neutral work of art, set off by a stack of books or knick-knacks that tie into the primary color palette or riff off the geometric scheme, all arranged artfully in a key area of your living room. We can guarantee that people will be drawn to it like moths to a flame.
How to frame and display your mid-century modern art
If you choose your art from our gallery of modern art prints or directly from an artist, it’s best to follow these framing and mounting recommendations as they can help elevate your space.
Here are some general guidelines for framing and displaying art:
- Framing canvas prints can add sophistication and elegance to any piece of art.
- Large-scale photos and visually capturing images should be mounted on canvas for maximum impact.
- Large pieces should be positioned with an eye to enhancing furniture and should be placed about four to six inches away from the item they are accompanying.
- Artwork, in general, should be mounted at eye level.
If you’re in doubt about the best way to frame and display your art, we’d be happy to help you choose the best option to suit your personal style.
Ready to redecorate your home with exciting mid-century modern art? Click the button below to get started.